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Battle of the sexes at the supermarket

Shopping Cart at Supermarket

Studies show vast differences in the ways men and women shop at the supermarket.Reuters

We all know that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  But when it comes to food shopping, this couldn't be more true.

According to recent national studies, men have started to catch up with women in the grocery aisles. More men are cooking household meals, scavenging for coupons in unexpected places, and having more influence in shopping decisions.

Tasks within the household are changing drastically and traditional gender roles are blurring, say experts. More women are in the workplace and more men are working from home. That paired with recent changes in the economy leaves more men-41 percent to be exact--responsible for making the meals at home,  according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

"The biggest surprise has been how fast men have embraced the kitchen," Phil Lempert, editor, columnist, and CEO of www.SupermarketGuru.com, told FoxNews.com. "Women went to the supermarkets with them moms to shop when they were young, but boys didn't," he added.

While women still remain the traditional coupon queens of the household, men are turning to technology to save money. More men than women are turning to coupon apps, supermarket websites, and online coupons for their supermarket savings needs.

Men also tend to ‘one and done’ in the store, while women linger looking for better deals. Just like the struggle for men to ask directions on the road, men like to get what they need and spend less time looking around—which means less time getting lost.

“Men will search high and low for a product before asking for help,” New York's Westside Market CEO George Zoitas told FoxNews.com.

And they're not always focused on the bottom line. Women are 12 percent more likely than men to buy generic or store brand rather than national brand, according to a 2011 study by U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends. Men still end up spend $10 more per week on average, according to the study, partly because they are less likely to bring lists to the grocery store.

Lempert attributes the extra spending to being "more impulse-oriented" and also says that "supermarkets have to think a little differently. They assume that because it's a man, it's meat and potatoes. In truth, men are more experimental," he says.

More men also choose to use the self-checkout aisle (14 percent of men vs. 12 percent of women), but women place a higher value on customer service (50 percent of women vs. 32 percent of men), according to U. S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2011.

Women may be mesmerized with products marketed with pastels and deep tints, but men prefer bright and bold color packaging.

In addition to the differences in shopping habits, similar men and women’s marketed products are priced differently. According to Consumer Reports, women’s-oriented products tend to run a few cents extra. Products like Schick Quattro for Women razor blades can run 50 cents more than their nearly identical male-marketed counterpart.

“Men go to the grocery store and when they see something new they buy it. When they get home and say ‘look what I bought honey’ the wife opens a cabinet that has five of the same things,” Lempert chuckled.

So the next time you're at the store consider which planet you come when it comes to buying groceries.